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Victoria HarbourCats – HarbourCats Defeat Bells 7-6 in North Division Final; Face Corvallis for West Coast League Title

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August 13, 2023

VICTORIA, B.C. — For the third time in the last five seasons of play, the Victoria HarbourCats will play a one-game, winner-take-all contest for the West Coast League title.

And for the third time, that game will be played in Corvallis, OR.

The HarbourCats, looking to become the first Canadian-based team to claim the WCL crown, advanced to Monday’s game — which will start at 8pm at Goss Stadium, the time set due to extreme heat conditions— with a heart-attack of a 7-6 victory over the Bellingham Bells in Saturday’s game at Wilson’s Group Stadium at Royal Athletic Park.

The HarbourCats captured their third North Division playoff title (also doing so in 2017 and 2019, with no play in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic), but escaping the clutches of the Bells in the playoffs for the first time. Bellingham prevailed in previous meetings in 2016 and 2022.

The Bells started off strong on Saturday as the first two batters singled, followed by a three-run blast by Andrew Valdez — 3-0 before an out was recorded by HarbourCats starter Logan MacNiel. It didn’t get easier in the second as MacNiel put two runners on and both those runners scored to make it a 5-0 Bellingham lead after one and a half innings, quieting the crowd of more than 3,600.

That silence didn’t last long.

John Wilson, owner of The Wilson’s Group of Companies, alongside his grandkids after a couple ceremonial first pitches caught by local pitchers Mason Chamberlain (left) and Darius Opdam Bak (right).

Victoria scored two in the bottom of two off Isaac Yeager, the Bells starter, thanks to an error and a sacrifice fly, and the game was back in reach.

The big inning was the bottom of the fourth. The HarbourCats plated five to take a 7-5 lead, the last dagger a two-run, two-out single by Hudson Shupe off Trevor Moore, the third Bellingham pitcher of the inning.

Jake Finkelstein shut the Bells down in relief of MacNiel, with a dominant five and a third innings with two hits allowed, no runs, and three strikeouts. Josh Berenbaum then entered in the seventh and quashed a bases loaded jam, and pitched into the ninth.

Bellingham would make it exciting in the ninth, getting to within a run and having the tying run on second when Dustin Davidson induced a fly ball, and Brett Harvey closed it out with a fly to right and a pop up to first base to end it, sending the crowd into a frenzy.

Jack Johnson had three RBIs and a stellar defensive play at third base in the third inning, and Dallas Macias made a game-changing catch in left field in the sixth inning.

The West Coast League Championship game will be held in Corvallis, Monday night at 8pm.  The winner of this game will be crowned 2023 West Coast League Champions.

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – HarbourCats end road trip with sweep of Lefties

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July 24, 2024

For immediate release

PORT ANGELES, WA – Michael Crossland stayed hot increasing his hit streak to five games with a three-hit night, leading the Victoria HarbourCats to a 6-3 win against the Port Angeles Lefties.

Shea Lake started his fourth game of the season and was impressive, pitching into the fifth inning for the first time. The Hawaii Pacific right-hander went 4-1/3 innings giving up two unearned runs on one hit, while striking out three.

BOX SCORE

Lake received run support early through RBI singles from Tyrus Hall and Ny’Zaiah Thompson in the second inning to give the Cats a 2-0 lead. With that base knock, Hall increased his hit streak to six games

Crossland’s second double of the evening drove home a run in the fourth inning to make it 3-0. Gunner Antillon followed that up with a single to score Crossland giving Victoria a commanding 4-0 lead. The second baseman had two hits to increase his season average to .308 and add to his on-base streak of 20 games.

WCL STANDINGS

Nick Frers gave up one unearned run while pitching 1-2/3 innings, striking out one.

Crossland’s third hit of the game was a sixth-inning RBI single which made it 5-3 HarbourCats. Victoria added an insurance run in the ninth with Michelle Artzberger getting in on the action, hitting a two-out double to give his team a 6-3 lead. The first baseman now has a .408 batting average in 18 games.

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Garrett Villa recorded the save pitching the final three innings striking out a season-high five batters while giving up three hits and zero runs.

The sweep of the Lefties means the Cats are back to .500 on the season with a 21-21 record. In the second-half standings, they sit two and a half games back of the Wenatchee AppleSox for the North Division lead.

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The HarbourCats now return home on Friday, July 26 at 6:35 pm to begin a three-game series against the Kamloops North Paws. That game kicks off “Kids Free Weekend” where all kids 12 and under get in free thanks to Peninsula Co-op. Simply come to the gate on any of the three game days, or get your tickets for these games in advance at the HarbourCats office. The Kids Free option is NOT available online.

REMINDER: If you have HarbourCats ticket vouchers of any kind, 10-game flex packs, or season ticket equivalent vouchers, just a reminder that all vouchers must be used for any of our remaining nine home games. Should we make playoffs, vouchers are not eligible for any games no matter where they are played. You can exchange your vouchers in advance for game tickets at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street.

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Summer Collegiate

NightOwls Lose a Tough One in Edmonton

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EDMONTON, Alta. — One more strike was all that was needed.

The Nanaimo NightOwls, fresh off an impressive sweep of a road series in Kamloops, were one pitch away from a fourth straight win on Monday night in Edmonton, but a clutch two-out single in the bottom of the ninth scored two runs to give the host Riverhawks a 5-4 win in West Coast League action.

The NightOwls are now 19-21 on the season and 7-6 in the second half, within grasp of top spot in the North Division lead for snaring home field advantage in the playoffs.

 

Boxscore

 

The NightOwls scored two runs in the first and sixth innings and the pitching was strong, from starter Moosa Nonomiya to relievers Tahj Orona, Kai Hanasaki, Grant Jakobson and Ryan Inouye, who was within that one pitch of another save.

Second baseman Hsu He-Chieh had two hits, a run and an RBI, and Wylie Waters had a first-inning double to lead the NightOwls on offence. Waters drove in his 34th run of the season.

 

Standings

 

The NightOwls were outhit 13-8 in warm, hazy conditions. In a rarity in today’s game, there were just four strikeouts total, three of them at the expense of Nanaimo batters.

 

NightOwls TV WCL Pixellot

 

The NightOwls are in Edmonton for a Monday-Tuesday-Wednesday battle with the Riverhawks, one of the teams Nanaimo will want to get ahead of in the very tight North Division standings.

Right-hander Joshua Torres will start the Tuesday game for Nanaimo, with Jacob Fleury slated for Wednesday night.

The next home action for the NightOwls, after a Thursday off day, is hosting the Bellingham Bells at historic Serauxmen Stadium for a Friday-Saturday-Sunday series. Every game counts with how tight the standings are for playoff positions with three spots from the North still to be determined.

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Summer Collegiate

Victoria HarbourCats – HarbourCats one step away from sweep in Port Angeles

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Michael Crossland had a pair of hits, a walk and scored two runs to lead the HarbourCats offence on Tuesday night (File photo: Christian J. Stewart)

July 23, 2024

Port Angeles, WA – Two down, one more to go — for a road series sweep and a .500 record on the six-game road trip.

The Victoria HarbourCats avoided a ninth inning scare from the host Lefties before closing out a 5-2 win Tuesday night in WCL action in Port Angeles. The night before, the HarbourCats posted a decisive 7-1 victory.

The HarbourCats scored two runs in the fifth inning, one in the sixth and two more in the seventh. The Lefties got single runs in the fifth and seventh and had two runners on base in the ninth inning but Brett Harvey got a series of pop ups to escape.

Victoria outhit Port Angeles 10-5.

FULL BOX SCORE

Michelle Artzberger reached base four times, on three hits and a hit by pitch, and drove in a run — he’s batting .409 on the season.

Michael Crossland was 2-4 with a double and two runs and Sky Collins had two hits.

STANDINGS

All-Star right-hander Carson Cormier started the game and was dominant, going 4.1 innings with two hits, one walk and two strikeouts, and one unearned run. Jacob Thompson and Harvey completed the pitching duties, combining to limit Port Angeles to five hits total, two of them in the ninth inning.

The HarbourCats are five games into a six-game road trip to Ridgefield and Port Angeles, and return home on Friday July 26, at 6:35 pm to begin a three-game home stand against the Kamloops North Paws.

That game kicks off “Kids Free Weekend” where all kids 12 and under get in free thanks to Peninsula Co-op. Simply come to the gate on any of the three game days, or get your tickets for these games in advance at the HarbourCats office. The Kids Free option is NOT available on-line.

REMINDER: If you have HarbourCats ticket vouchers of any kind, 10-game flex packs, or season ticket equivalent vouchers, just a reminder that all vouchers must be used for any of our remaining nine home games. Should we make playoffs, vouchers are not eligible for any games no matter where they are played. You can exchange your vouchers in advance for game tickets at the HarbourCats office at 101-1814 Vancouver Street.

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